At the very least, they believe that "something needs to be changed," and have enough conviction to set things in motion.
Sadly, most such ideas fail to live up to expectations. It's something we see in all walks of life... from people convinced "they can sing" who then try out for American Idol... where they sound like a distressed seal sitting in an empty oil drum... to the people who start web sites as "alternatives to eBay."
In stamp collecting circles, it's also no secret that many people-- on both the buying AND selling side of the equation are frustrated with eBay. There are a number of reasons for this which I have written about previously, but won't get into here.
|eCharta: an authentic alternative to eBay?|
Three months later, 17 people have signed up, 372 items have been listed for sale (350 of them belonging to the site owner) and none have been sold. Six months later, our "intrepid fee refugee" feels genuinely surprised (and possibly hurt) that people haven't arrived in droves to take advantage of "FREE LISTINGS!!!" Alas, there's a LOT more to running a successful e-commerce site than merely starting one and plastering the word "FREE" everywhere.
Today's post is about a new collector marketplace that genuinely could become a viable "alternative to eBay."
Started in the fall of 2012, eCharta is a marketplace for paper collectibles, not just stamps. Whereas stamps are a major category, you can also find manuscripts, trading cards, postcards, maps and other things relating to collecting paper. UNlike most "eBay alt" attempts, eCharta has a lot of points going in its favor:
- It's owned and operated by a team of collectors.
- The site was built from the ground up by professional programmers.
- It's visually appealing and showcases items for sale in an attractive manner.
- Free to low fees for sellers.
- Easy listing process when selling.
- Auction OR fixed price.
- Create your own "store" with your own custom categories.
- Fast and responsive support-- the site operators actually WANT user suggestions.
- A "mission statement" above and beyond "we're cheaper than eBay."